Originally published on SBReport.net on April 25, 2012
The Oakland Raiders currently do not hold a draft pick until the 32nd pick of the third round, 95th overall. The Raiders currently hold one third round draft pick, two fourth round draft picks, a fifth round draft pick and a sixth round draft pick. The 95th overall pick, along with the 129th (fourth round) and 168th (fifth round), came by way of the National Football League’s compensatory pick policy.
The NFL rewards teams that lost key free agents compensatory picks in an effort to create a competitive league.
Barring any trades, the Raiders won’t announce their first selection until late Friday night when the third round takes place in New York City.
Although the Raiders do not have a first or second round draft pick, history shows that they can still receive quality players in the late rounds.
The Raiders had six selections in round three to round six last season: defensive backs DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa, running back Taiwan Jones, wide receiver
Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke will look to improve his skills heading into the 2012 seasonDenarius Moore, offensive tackle Joe Barksdale, and tight end Richard Gordon. Overall, the Raiders 2011 rookie class from rounds three through six appeared in 61 games, including 16 starts.
Round 3, 17th pick (81st overall): DeMarcus Van Dyke
DeMarcus Van Dyke struggled in his rookie season while the Raiders had a carousel at the cornerback position opposite of veteran Stanford Routt. Van Dyke appeared in 14 games, starting four, and recorded 13.0 tackles, four passes defended and only one interception.
Round 3, 28th pick (92nd overall): Joe Barksdale
Barksdale earned very little playing time his rookie season, primarily appearing in special teams situations and occasionally spelling the starting offensive tackles. Even with appearing in a small amount of quality time, Barksdale still managed to appear in all 16 games during the Raiders 2011 season.
Round 4, 16th pick (113th overall): Chimdi Chekwa
Chekwa struggled to earn playing time much of the season nagged by injuries, however he appeared in four games, including one start. Chekwa appeared both at the cornerback position as well as some snaps as a safety. In his limited playing time, Chekwa tallied eight tackles to go along with two passes defensed. Chekwa has the athleticism and physical tools to become a solid corner in the league, but may take time to build his skills.
Running back Taiwan Jones showed promise in a small number of carries behind a crowded backfieldRound 4, 28th pick (125th overall): Taiwan Jones
The rookie running back out of Eastern Washington University appeared in 10 games, carrying the ball just 16 times for 73 yards. Jones also added two receptions for 25 yards. The speedy back struggled with a hamstring injury, often limiting his action. With two solid backs in Darren McFadden and Michael Bush ahead of him, it was hard to find naps in the crowded backfield. Jones did however impress the Raider Nation when he carried the ball 13 times for 81 yards and one touchdown in a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.
Round 5, 17th pick (148th overall): Denarius Moore
Rookie wide receiver Moore proved the NFL he wasn’t just another training camp star as he came out in the regular season and started ten games for the Silver & Black,
Wide receiver Denarius Moore emerged as one of the best rookie wide receivers in the league last seasonappearing in another three. The rookie from the University of Tennessee racked up 33 receptions for 618 yards and five touchdowns, along with five rushing attempts for 61 yards and one rushing touchdown. Moore looks to be an up-and-coming star in the league, showing his solid hands and breakout ability being too much for the defense at times.
Round 6, 16th pick (181st overall): Richard Gordon
Tight end Gordon appeared in 14 games last season, including one start at the fullback position when Marcel Reece was out due to injury. Gordon, primarily thought of as a blocking tight end, only hauled in one catch for two yards.
While the middle rounds of last year’s draft only produced one starter for the Raiders, Oakland was still able to get solid production out of their draft picks. The players added last year should continue to develop and improve their game.
With a new general manager Reggie McKenzie taking control of the helm of the organization, it should be interesting to see what kind of draft strategy he instills. This marks the first draft without iconic owner Al Davis, who passed away last October.